Big Sisters Luminary Soiree

Expo86 25th Anniversary Party at Science World

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011 — 11:40am PDT
Comments 140

It’s been 25 years since Vancouver hosted the world for Expo86, complete with gondolas, a monorail, our new SkyTrain, boom boats, and pavilions. To celebrate, Vancouver is Awesome has teamed up with Yelp to throw a fitting bash at Science World on May 6th.

Expo 86 Pass
Photo: DBarefoot

What: Expo 86 Quarter Century Look-back Party
Including films, 80’s cover band, photos, and more.
When: May 6, 2011 from 7:00pm until 10:30 pm
Where: Science World at TELUS World of Science
Tickets: Before May 5th, $10 or $15 including an Omnimax screening. Available online or by phone.

My family had passes for Expo86 so we were there every weekend at the Plaza of Nations gate. We walked for hours, got our passports stamped at every pavilion, enjoyed some snacks on the McBarge, and I even got lost on the monorail when I hopped on and the doors shut with my family on the other side. Not my wisest move as a 6 year old.

Expo 86 - The McBarge! expo Expo 86 - What Yaletown used to look like... kinda

Expo 86 - Boom boats

If you have Expo86 memories, or even if you never got to go, this party will be your chance to relive – or sneak a peek into – what happened that year in Vancouver. Dig out your hats, Expo Ernie keychains, and crank the “This is My Home” theme song in preparation for this unique adult-oriented event. You can even bring a blank t-shirt and get it screen-printed with an Expo86 logo.

I have a pair of tickets available, courtesy of Science World. Here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Leave a comment on this post with an Expo86 memory or why you would like to attend the party (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
  • I entered to win tickets to the #Expo86 anniversary party @scienceworldca from @miss604

    I will draw one winner at random from all entries at 10:00am on May 3, 2011.

    Update The winner is Sophia! Congratulations and have a great time at the party.

    Current contests on


    1. Erin says:

      I was 4 during Expo, and ran straight into a handrail on the Boston Pizza building…it was my first ever ambulance ride!

    2. Tracey Flattes says:

      I wasn’t in Vancouver for expo. so the party would be the next best thing!

    3. @Tim604 says:

      I want to attend the party to see what Expo86 was all about! I was waaay too young back in the day. TIA

    4. Teresa says:

      I loved the Expo hype.

    5. mary says:

      i was just borned when this happened

    6. Jessica R.F says:

      I was a baby when taken to Expo ’86, so while I don’t remember anything, that event changed Vancouver forever and I would love to look back and celebrate!

    7. My parents met and started dating thanks to Expo ’86! My mom was a Vancouver reporter and my dad was working as a lighting crew member. They were introduced during the Expo and started dating, so if it weren’t for Expo ’86..I probably wouldn’t have been born a year later!

    8. Ada Lasaleta says:

      I have pictures of myself and my parents at this event but was only 3 when I went. The only memories I have of this are in pictures!

    9. Janna says:

      I was born the year Expo 86 happened, so for obvious reasons I was not in attendance. I would love to have the chance to see all the changes made to the city and some exhibits of what it was like though!

    10. Curtis says:

      I wasn’t around for EXPO but I remember the CP air livery on their aircraft a true Icon on the 80’s that for the time set the bar for what Vancouver will become in the future.

    11. Henry Lee says:

      Drinking age during Expo86 : oooooweee! Oh well, I drank in moderation …

      Thanks for the article, Rebecca.

    12. Vanessa says:

      I would love to go to this. I hear about the Expo all the time but wasn’t in Vancouver when it was held. A 25 year old party sounds super.

    13. David says:

      At the party, I would like to hear the great experiences people had at Expo 86.

    14. Richie says:

      I was so young when the expo came and we lived in northern BC then, would love to check it out!

    15. John says:

      The expo was what everyone was talking about back in the day. I would love to check it out this year to relive the experience.

    16. Angela says:

      I wasn’t in Vancouver yet in ’86 and so would love to get a sense of the celebrations at Expo.

    17. Courtney says:

      I was born the summer of Expo ’86 so visited while in utero. I’ve worn my mom’s old Expo T-shirts while traveling abroad and always get comments on them. My dad recently gave me the old map of Vancouver and the Expo grounds – what a shock to see how the city has changed since then!

    18. vincent says:

      wouldnt mind checking it out. wasnt there for any of it. this would be a great time! XD

    19. Heather says:

      I travelled from Alberta to Expo twice. First with my parents where we saw Honeymoon Suite and then with my Jr High band where I played alto clarinet at Plaza of Nations in a blue and yellow polyester tuxedo uniform. How’s that for cool.

    20. Gus says:

      I lived wayyyy over on the East coast in 1986 (and was only six years old) and didn’t get to go! I’d love to be able to experience some of it!

    21. CF says:

      I was all of 4 years old during expo so this is probably the next best thing. ๐Ÿ™‚ Would love to go!

    22. Will says:

      I loved Expo ’86! My only regret was losing my old Expo/Skytrain T-shirt from those days. I’d love a chance to create some new Expo memories and perhaps… (sniff sniff) …look past my traumatic loss (sniff).

    23. Chelsea says:

      My parents always talked about Expo86! But that was 2 years before my time. I would love to take them to this.. so they can re-live the memories ๐Ÿ™‚

    24. Bonnie says:

      I was living in Alberta at the time, so missed out. Would enjoy going to the anniversary event, though!

    25. rosie says:

      Cause I was 4 at the time, living in Ottawa & missed out on all the fun. ๐Ÿ™
      This is my chance to experience a little piece of Expo excitement!

    26. Katie says:

      I’m from England so I missed out, but my husband went and he still gets excited when he hears the word Pavilion!

    27. Laura says:

      my husband has great family memories from this event. They attended everyday…just couldn’t get enough!

    28. Gillian says:

      My parents and I had season passes. I was only 10 and got to go to my very first rock concert – Platinum Blonde!

    29. Wow…I feel old, most of the people here said they were too young to remember…lol
      I had just turned 20 years old when Expo started…one of the best summers of my life.

    30. Meghan W says:

      I lived in Mission at the time and can you believe that I never got to go??? My dad boycotted for ‘political’ reasons. So I remember everyone saying how fun it was.

    31. Joyce says:

      I was born in 86:)

    32. Karla says:

      My sister and I recorded a song at Studio 86 which was in the Plaza of Nations…it was Whitney Houston’s “How Will I know”…we were 11 years old! I still have the recording and in fact played it at my sister’s wedding!

    33. au says:

      we haven’t experience yet Expo86, ‘coz we’re only new in Vancouver. that would be a great experience if my name will be picked! love it, thanks Miss604!

    34. Dilara says:

      I lived in Italy at the time so I have to Expo 86 memories… I’m so looking forward to this party to I can experience a bit of it myself ๐Ÿ™‚

    35. Dilara says:

      oops! I meant to say I have no Expo 86 memories…

    36. Laureen says:

      My favourite Expo 86 memories were the fireworks! I was really young during Expo 86 but I do remember the fireworks lighting up the skies…

    37. Elie says:

      i want to attend because i missed out Canada’s 80s

    38. Sophia says:

      Expo ’86 was great! I remember hopping on the stationed motorcycles and the little wagon rides and taking photos with my parents. Then, drinking fruit juice from a carton, and holding onto these wooden things with frog photos painted on them.

      A bit blurry, but a memories of a special time in Vancouver!

    39. Phy says:

      I want to attend beacause I was too young to go during ’86..

    40. Cliff says:

      I wasn’t in Vancouver in 86 but I’ve lived here for the last decade and it would be great to learn more about Expo since it’s had so much influence over what False Creek and downtown is like today.

    41. Brenda says:

      I attended Expo 86 as an 11 year old kid and it would be great to relive the memories.

    42. Jeremy says:

      I wasnt here during Expo 86. Would love to attend this party!

    43. Kelly says:

      I wasnt born during the expo 86 so the next best thing would be going to the party!

    44. Russell says:

      I would love to go to this. This was my first volunteer gig when I was 16. I was responsible for directing people around the RCMP musical ride. I recently found my volunteer pin.

    45. Aileen R says:

      I was 10 when Expo was all the excitement. I loved meeting all the interesting people. My fondest memory was switching bikes all the way to the water. *lol*

    46. Vanessa says:

      I was 2 years old and my mom was 7 months pregnant with my sister and used the men’s washroom as the womens one had too many people in line. My one and only memory of the event is the one my mom wishes I didn’t remember. lol.

    47. Andrew C. says:

      I worked at Expo 86 and I have a lot of fond memories of the friends I made there. Vancouver was never the same afterward and not for the better.

    48. Scratchy says:

      Best memory, hanging out at Expo with my oldest sister Nance.

    49. Garrett says:

      I wasn’t born yet but people I work with always tell me how great expo 86 was and it would be an experience to some of the memories.

    50. Linda says:

      i was just a baby but 86 is special to me because that’s the year my bf was born ๐Ÿ™‚

    51. marisa. p says:

      Was our grad year, and we got free passes….I spent everyday down there! What a blast from the past it would be.
      I was addicted to the 3-D geese!!!

    52. Jas says:

      Wasn’t here in 1986 but I’d love to create new memories and attend the party! ๐Ÿ™‚

    53. Albert says:

      It was like yesterday. Go 125 yrs!!!

    54. Susan F says:

      I was 14 yrs old, and was walking near the Plaza of Nations when I recognized some members of a little known band walking around (I had seen them on a new talent part of Much Music earlier that day, and that was how i recognized them). We went up to them and put on the flattery. They were so excited that somebody recognized them in Canada, they put my friend and I on their VIP list for the concert they were opening for – which happened to be the Eurythmics. THe band we recongized were terrible, but my friend and I were in heaven listening to the sweet voice of Annie Lennox – we felt we were the luckiest girls in the world (and we were!).

    55. Ennie says:

      I would like to attend the party because I hadn’t been born yet during the Expo86.

    56. Jen says:

      My husband is a huge EXPO junkie…I would love to take him to this!

    57. My brother was named after Expo Ernie – his name is Ernest. Would love to take him to celebrate since he wasn’t yet born when Expo 86 happened.

    58. parker says:

      I love how proud Vancouver is of Expo 86 and think this is how we will feel about the Olympics in 25 years too!! I’d love to celebrate this with Vancouver!

    59. Lindsay says:

      I was 4 yrs old but I do remember my Mom and Dad coming home with Expo presents. At that age presents were just as good as going!

    60. Tracy says:

      I was only a couple months old when my parent took me to Expo 86. Would love to celebrate its 25th year!

    61. I’d love to attend SkyTrain’s 25th birthday party. I hear there’s pizza. And pop!

    62. I’d love to attend the part because I’ve always wished I had been around for the expo.

    63. Emily H says:

      I was just a couple months old when my parents took me to Expo 86. I would love to go!

    64. Sheryl says:

      I remember eating beer nuts (thought that was scandalous as a 9 year old) and riding the Scream Machine with my aunt.

    65. Lynn Montes says:

      The concerts were all so awesome!! Met George Benson after his show and it was a life highlight!!! Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!

    66. Mijay P. says:

      I was born in ’86! Hence was not here, but would love to celebrate the party.

    67. Alan C says:

      I had my first kiss at EXPO86!

      It was with Expo Ernie.

      ah, memories.

    68. Jenny L. says:

      My dad brought me when I was one! I don’t remember it so I’d love to celebrate it now!

    69. Christina says:

      I was 7 when I met Expo Ernie… I remember being so in awe of the robot that could talk back to me! *sigh* good times!

    70. Erin says:

      Having heard all the stories I would love the chance to attend the party.

    71. Ceci says:

      I hardly remember it since I was so young but I did go to Expo86. I’d still love to go!

    72. Sanaz says:

      This sounds like a fun party to attend!

    73. Trevor says:

      Moved out here from Toronto in ’87 and missed Expo 86 but got to see what was left behind

    74. Nadine says:

      I don’t have an expo ’86 memory because I wasn’t born yet! So all the more reason to go to this to see what I missed!

    75. Mary says:

      i have a picture w/ my brothers taken beside a big wooden elephant. i remember splashing through a water park too.

    76. Nick says:

      I was born in 86

    77. Chris says:

      We drove out to Expo 86 from Calgary and I met Expo Ernie! Still one of the top days of my life.

    78. Christina says:

      Meeting Expo Ernie would top all my Disney character pictures, hands down.

    79. natalie says:

      I remember getting my passport stamped and all the souvenirs of ernie. I loved it then and would love to relive it now ๐Ÿ™‚

    80. Charlene says:

      Expo ’86. Dancing to the music with my brother and riding the skytrain!

    81. Mae says:

      I lived about a 10 minute walk from the Expo grounds back in ’86 and my bedroom on the 2nd floor faced Expo and gave me the best view of the entire house to watch the fireworks, which I got to do every night before bed. I got to enjoy a light show nightly for the 6 months of the Expo. What little girl wouldn’t have loved that?

    82. Hilary says:

      My whole family got stuck on the gondola, 3cm from the station. They wouldn’t let us out so we were stuck for hours (or so it seemed to 5 year old me.) Otherwise good times!

    83. gj says:

      Enjoyed Expo a lot – will be getting out my stuff from it – great warehouse sales afterwords!
      Live on old expo site now – photos through the years interesting. Can remember Yaletown before it became a cool place to be.

    84. nocal says:

      I wasnรขโ‚ฌโ„ขt in Vancouver for expo. so the party would be the next best thing!

    85. ming says:

      86 was the summer i graduated from highschool. Spent half of that summer just hanging around Expo86. Great fun.

    86. Iz says:

      It’s a close year where I was born, so I’m curious how awesome Expo 86 was. ๐Ÿ™‚

    87. Chris Campbell says:

      I was 16, living in Ontario and my parents were going to take me to Expo 86. I got in a car accident in my parents car, and instead of getting to go to Vancouver for Expo 86, my parents paid for the car repairs. So my memory is of missing it altogether. Doh, that hurts!

    88. Gladys says:

      I was a pretty young kid in 1986, but I remember clutching my Expo 86 passport, trying to collect as many stamps as possible. Such a great time.

    89. Christopher says:

      I was 4 during Expo 86 and remember going with my family, including newborn sister and unfortunately my most memorable moment was finding our volkswagen had been broken into.

    90. Earl says:

      I was born on Apr 28, 1986, so I was lucky enough to catch it! Can’t remember the Expo, obviously, but I have plenty of pictures from when my parents took me.

    91. Ana says:

      I lost my mom while watching a live show at the Plaza of Nations stage. I cried and cried. She was behind me the entire time. I want to go back and remember how embarrassed I was.

    92. Michelle says:

      I was 16 for expo and I remember saving up for months to pay $ 195 for a season pass. My friends and I lived there the entire summer. Fell in love and had a ‘summer fling’ with a doorman at 86 Street Nightclub. Never had to wait in line or show ID. Life was good that summer:)

    93. Kristin says:

      I live in Vancouver because of Expo. My dad’s work sent my parents to Expo (and my parents sent me & my sister to our grandparents’ in Winnipeg). They loved the city so much, that 3 years later, we moved out here!

    94. Donna says:

      I have so many cool memories of Expo 86. Catching Skytrain to go see all the great concerts at the Expo Ampetheatre. Then staying after for the fireworks and dancing to the bands playing on the little stage in front of what is now Science World!

    95. Shel says:

      I performed in shows at Expo as a young kid.

    96. Shel says:

      I was a performer in Expo shows as a kid. (sorry for the duplicate comment, typed my email wrong in the first one).

    97. Tiffany says:

      I wasn’t around when it happened so I curious about how it was like ๐Ÿ™‚

    98. Blair Hirtle says:

      Meet you at the Swatch Watch, we’ll tour the Russian pavillion and poke fun at Stalinism. Next we’ll get some pics at Highway86, see Liberace at the Expo Arena, ride the roller coaster and the Challenger, pick up a waffle, and check out that spooky weird hollogram at the GM Pavillion. I have to see it again! And the Canadian Pacific pavillion’s Rainbow War is brilliant. Apparently it got nominated for an Academy Award. The Telecom pavillion has a 360 degree movie and the Canada Pavillion is off site, you have to ride the new Sky Train to get there. It’s Vancouver’s new subway and it’s driverless! Wow, the future. What will Vancouver be like in, like 25 years? Meet you at the SwatchWatch.

    99. Leane says:

      I remember getting finger printed… it was a special booth that they set up as a preventative measure if you lost your kid or they got taken. Sad that that’s all i remember though!

    100. Jen says:

      My family had seasons passes too. I remember getting my photo taken at Landsdowne Mall in Richmond. My fave memories include “Rainbow Wars”, Expo Ernie, the awesome Kids Play area with the mini zip line, the SCREAM Machine, the First Nations Chief that disappeared into a poof of smoke in the BC Pavilion and the little red ball in the IMAX that you followed around Canada and you actually felt like you were moving. So many amazing memories!

      I also loved the cars in cement and the floating McDonald’s, which we ate at practically every time. Did you know they picked all the best McDonalds employees from the lower mainland from each restaurant to work there? Ok I’ll stop now ๐Ÿ™‚

    101. Tracey says:

      I had a swatch that almost matched the giant swatch.

    102. alex says:

      i can’t say i remember attending, but there are pictures of me with science world in the background during expo. good times!

    103. Linda says:

      This is cool! I want to go reminisce…

    104. Rebecca says:

      I was in elementary school when I went to Expo and I vividly remember the Northwest Territories pavilion, as my father painted it. I would really enjoy this evening!

    105. I flew to Vancouver from Atlanta when I was 19 years old just to see it.

      25 years later, I’ve been to 8 world’s fairs (so far) and I’m flying from San Francisco to be at the 25th anniversary.

    106. Fila says:

      I was not born here and I would love to see what happened that time!Sound so interesting!

    107. Mark says:

      McBarge in the yellow zone!

    108. melissa says:

      I had to sister who passed away last year got to go&rubbed it in how much fun she had. I still have the souvenir she got me.

    109. benjiman says:

      well i was living in ontario during the expo. but now live here in whistler with my 5 kids and will love to go to the next one?hopefully that is like i said im a single father of 5 and work everyday.any single women?lol

    110. Akemi says:

      I was just a baby but my parents took me…

    111. Bons says:

      I was only a few years old when Expo86 took place. I want to attend the party with my parents to relive the memories.

    112. Suzanne says:

      During the summer of Expo 86, I was finishing my PDP at SFU. Living close to Hasting and Commercial in a basement appartment, I welcomed visitors from Quebec eager to see the fireworks and sites of this World class event in Beautiful Vancouver, BC! I now live in the Northwest and will be in the city for the weekend only. It would be so cool to win the tickets ;D

    113. E. Tang says:

      I still have my expo 86 season pass card!

    114. Michael Fox says:

      I still have my expo 86 passports. Went there almost every day that summer, it was awesome!

    115. Robert smith says:

      I didn’ get to attend in ’86. Boo! I would love to attend

    116. David Thomas says:

      I conducted the RCMP band on Canada Day at Expo 86 back when I was a cub scout.

    117. Carmen Weld says:

      I was a babe in arms during Expo but I would love to take my parents to the event, as Expo was something they speak so fondly about!!

    118. katrina chowne says:

      I remember my dad and his friend singing karaoke “under the boardwalk”

    119. Alan says:

      I never got to attend expo 86 since I moved to Vancouver on 1988 so I would love to go to this event!

    120. jackie says:

      My dad bought me and my, then, future husband season passes. We simply didn’t have the money at the time to buy them ourselves. We met each other on the Expo site every day after work in the summer. Such fond memories. Longing to travel, the next best thing was collecting each and every stamp for the pavilions around the world in our passports. Twenty-five years later, we are blissfully married with a beautiful 7 year old boy. We still have the travel bug and have been lucky enough to be able to take our son to a few of the countries of the pavilions we loved. It would be simply amazing to take him to the anniversary party and share some of our early memories with him.

    121. I would love to attend it!!! I attended Expo 86 but was only three years old at the time, but I have souvenirs/passports/photos from the day! ๐Ÿ™‚

    122. Nat says:

      I was 6 – traveled from Calgary and what I remember most was the monorail.

    123. Sandra says:

      I loved all of the concerts…especially A-ha, Depeche Mode, Eurythmics and then there were the free concerts as well with Dollie Deluxe. They were all amazing!

    124. Kelly says:

      Lovin’ reading all the memories! Was a 16 year old girl-went on my one and only rollercoaster ride “The Scream Machine” there to impress a boy. Thought I might die and he lauged his head off! Second best memory was Randy “Elvis” Friskie and his tribute nights I believe at the Ontario Pavillion. Great times, great beer garden (at least that’s what my PARENTS said).

    125. Annie says:

      I would love to surprise my husband with this, as he had fond memories of being part of it as a kid. I was never around for it back then, but it would be wonderful to go together!

    126. Heather says:

      I was 5 and remember not being tall enough to go on the “cool” rides that my brothers got to go on. I do remember sitting on the vehicles of the Concrete Highway though. Oh and all the free ride coupons on the Cheerios box!

    127. heather says:

      I was 4 years old and remember loving the alien spray park!

    128. maria says:

      I was only 10 when Expo was here but i loved the rides and all the McDonald’s.

    129. Mich says:

      I was only 2 years old, so I don’t remember anything, but I’d love to witness this part of Canadian history!

    130. seapotato says:

      I would love to go because that was the year I was born!

    131. Ally says:

      i remember my parents being excited to visit vancouver for the first time for expo 86

    132. Jenni says:

      I have never won anything in my life ๐Ÿ™‚ Would love too! ๐Ÿ˜›

    133. Lindsay says:

      I’ve heard all about various Expos in my art history courses – I’d love to have the chance to see and learn more!

    134. Kathryn says:

      I was only able to spend one day at Expo ’86 but still had lots of fun – at The Unicorn, on the roller coaster, the Canada Pavilion, and watching the fireworks.

    135. Cameron W. says:

      I was three during Expo 86. I’d love to go just to see what it helps me remember.

    136. Angie theilmann says:

      Expo ernie!!!!!!!

    137. Fiona says:

      So many memories! The monorail was awesome; hanging with my friends on many summer hot days as a 15-year-old. Good times!

    138. amfriesen says:

      i remember riding skytrain when it was new and fresh (less creaky and dirty) to the fancy exhibits at expo 86 when i was in elementary school; the olympics brought some of that feeling back

    139. Linda says:

      We invited the whole world to a party and everybody came!

    140. Meghan says:

      I didn’t live in Vancouver for Expo and would love to see what it was all about!

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